Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: August 31st, 2010
Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.
I first picked up Halo for the cover. As you can see, it's gorgeous! I'm the kind of person whose purchases are strongly influenced by the covers of the novels I see, so the minute the image of Halo's cover caught my eye on the internet, I knew I had to have it... So I read the synopsis, and it looked like something I'd be interested in. I'm a big fan of angels in YA literature, so I was drawn to the premise just as quickly as I was to the cover. I had high expectations for the novel, and when I finally got to read it, a disappointment it was not. Halo is an impressive start to a promising new series, as well as a wonderful achievement- it's hard to believe that the author is only eighteen!
When I picked up Halo, I was pulled into the light, ethereal world of Bethany. The author does a fantastic job of creating a setting that successfully fuses the terrestrial and the celestial aspects of the story. That, combined with the enchanting premise, make Halo an enjoyable read.
The set of characters is another remarkable asset of the novel. The characterization is brilliant, despite its occasional cliches. Bethany is an angel who comes to earth and experiences love for the first time, so though she comes of as naive a lot of the time, it's acceptable. It was more of the cliches with the other characters that bothered me, such as Xavier being a little bit too perfect, but it didn't really matter much- I still identified with each and every one of them, and understood the parts they play in the story.
One thing that I really loved about Halo was its purity. I love my novels gritty. I love them edgy. But Halo is so clean and pure, it beautifully captures the innocence of falling in love for the first time. It struck me as the kind of read that's geared toward the younger YA readers, but it can still be enjoyed by older readers. I know I did.
My only complaint about the novel would probably the length. The writing is brilliant, the imagery is sublime and the prose is quote-worthy, but I did feel that it was excessive. Too much of a good thing can be bad, and in this case it caused the plot to be a bit slow-moving at times. I still enjoyed reading Adornetto's beautifully-woven words, but the wordiness was a big drawback and other readers may find it to be a big turn-off to an otherwise gorgeous novel.
Overall, Halo is an enjoyable novel about angels that has a little bit of everything- romance, drama, suspense, and mystery. It's engaging (I couldn't put it down!) and paves the way for a potentially epic series that could take the world by storm. I was left with my heart in my throat because of the big cliff-hanger ending, and I absolutely cannot wait to read the next book and see what Ms. Adornetto has in store for Bethany.